By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – As the biggest non-wing sprint car week unfolded around the state of Indiana, fans at Lincoln Park Speedway were treated to some of the best bomber drivers that the Hoosier State could offer.
There was a $1,000 at stake for the winner of Saturday’s feature and with an “Open Rule” for the class, 42 drivers from multiple tracks around the state were on hand in pursuit of the large pay day. Local drivers were slightly behind the 8-ball as the open rules gave drivers from other tracks the opportunity to pick off the winner’s share with no limit on motors or weight jacks allowing drivers to change their car in-race. The local drivers were well represented on this evening as Greencastle’s David Bumgardner led from the opening circuit and battled his way to a 25-lap victory against some of the top pilots the mid-state had to offer.
Bumgardner started on the outside of the front row alongside CJ Bryan, a season-long nemesis in the class. However, Bryan, as many of Bumgardner’s top contenders, would eventually fall by the wayside.
By the final 5-lap segment, Bumgardner had the hammer down and had built more than a full straightaway lead, but would not take the foot off the competition’s neck. He would cruise to the four-figure payday by a wide margin. Blake Myers outlasted the competitors for second-place after starting 16th with David Shain, David Kikendall, Kevin Kemp, Megan Cavaness, Greg Sims, Josh Presley, Darren Crawhorn and Tim Wright rounding out the top-10.
Last weekend’s UMP Modified victory by Paul Bumgardner was one that elevated the crowd and provided a salve for a lot of hard luck for the defending track points champion. On Saturday, Bumgardner was able to add a memo to the competition that he’s got it figured out for the second portion of the 2012 season as he wired the field to score a repeat victory.
Bumgardner started alongside Wes McClara as both won their heat races, but McClara had the misfortune to spin on his opening lap in traffic to send him to the tail.
On the re-start, Bumgardner went to his customary top line and quickly found his way into heavy lapped traffic. The veteran hot shoe proved to be unfazed as he blasted through the lappers, as Eric Varner gave chase in the runner-up position. Brian Hayden was in hot pursuit of the second spot, but had Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Derek Groomer in close pursuit.
With some top competition close behind, Bumgardner continued to build upon his advantage and left the remainder of the field to chase the second spot. Varner had his opportunity as a caution flew with four laps remaining, but a strong re-start by Bumgardner solidified his victory and left Varner with the challenge of Hayden.
The repeat victory would go to Bumgardner in front of a large fan following as Varner crossed the finish line second ahead of Hayden. Groomer took fourth followed by Kenny Carmichael Sr., Duane Lee, Michael Kettnich, Roger Cary, Chris Kerl and Jim Moore.
First-year UMP Super Stock driver Dustin Shoulders made a name for himself in the bomber class last season, but he’s already made an impression in 2012 as he got past Doug McCullough late in the A-main and held off the challenges of Kenny Carmichael Sr. over the final circuits to pick up the victory.
McCullough would lead the first half of the feature after starting on the outside of the front row as Shoulders was able to dive under Carmichael for the second position. Behind the lead pack was a battle for fourth between Slick Griffin and Steve Peeden followed by a tight pack that included Josh Fagg, Josh McDaniel, Travis Heramb and Jamie Adams. A pileup in turn one ensued between the group that eliminated several cars from the hunt and sent the remaining drivers to the back of the lineup.
Up front, Shoulders made his move for the lead in turn three, getting under McCullough for the lead. McCullough would head to the pits soon afterwards as Carmichael took over the runner-up spot ahead of Griffin and Peeden as Mike Staggs advanced to fifth.
Shoulders had to navigate a lapped car with two laps remaining, but was able to stay clear of Carmichael to pick up the win. Griffin, Peeden, Staggs, Adams, Fagg, JR Watkins, Steve Ware and McCullough filled out the top-10.
Thursday evening will feature the return of the “Indiana Sprint Week” series to LPS as the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series visits along with the UMP Modifieds.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Bomber feature ($1,000-to-win)
1. David Bumgardner, 2. Blake Myers, 3. David Shain, 4. David Kikendall, 5. Kevin Kemp, 6. Megan Cavaness, 7. Greg Sims, 8. Josh Presley, 9. Darren Crawhorn, 10. Tim Wright, 11. Brandon Reed, 12. Harry Shepherd, 13. Scott Tidwell, 14. Josh Settles, 15. Daniel Foxworthy, 16. Brian Sims, 17. C.J. Bryan, 18. Mike Callahan, 19. Mike Klyn, 20. Tom Courtney, 21. Kenny Treash
B-main winners: Myers, Tidwell
Heat winners: Treash, Shepherd, Wright, Reed, Kikendall
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Eric Varner, 3. Brian Hayden, 4. Derek Groomer, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Duane Lee, 7. Michael Kettnich, 8. Roger Cary, 9. Chris Kerl, 10. Jim Moore, 11. Charley Walden, 12. Andrew Auler, 13. Wil Newlin, 14. Josh Boller, 15. Scott Ricketts, 16. Brent Hudson, 17. Michael Fish, 18. Wes McClara, 19. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 20. Gary Ricketts
B-main winner: Boller
Heat winners: Bumgardner, McClara, Varner
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Dustin Shoulders, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Slick Griffin, 4. Steve Peeden, 5. Mike Staggs, 6. Jamie Adams, 7. Josh Fagg, 8. JR Watkins, 9. Steve Ware, 10. Doug McCullough, 11. Travis Heramb, 12. Josh McDaniel, 13. Kris Starks, 14. AJ Clark, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr.
Heat winners: Shoulders, Griffin